Frequently Asked Questions

Can I browse the list of current opportunities and tenders even if I haven't registered?

Supplying the South West has been set-up so that anybody can browse the database of opportunities. Simply click on the links on the left hand side and you will be presented with the Search Screen.

You can search for opportunities using a number of different parameters. They are organisation, category or free text search. Supplying the South West uses CPV (Common Procurement Vocabulary) to categorise all opportunities and tenders. The search capability can also just return opportunities where you can register your interest, however to register an interest you must register yourself as a user on the site.

Are all councils in the South West represented?

Not all councils have signed up as yet, but more will be joining the portal in the coming months so it is worth re-checking periodically.

How do I register?

Registration is a two stage process. Prospective suppliers provide some details about themselves and submit their application online. The system administrator then checks whether anyone else from the same organisation has already registered on the Portal. If not, two emails are sent to the prospective supplier; one contains a password and one contains a login. Once a supplier logs in for the first time they will need to change the password and set-up a security question which is used as part of the forgotten password process. Suppliers will also need to choose which councils they wish to receive email notifications from and which ProClass codes best match the goods or services they provide.

Do I need to re-register every year?

Once registered supplier details will remain on the system indefinitely. Suppliers can maintain and update their own details at any time through the supplier profile link, including the authorities and categories that suppliers would like to receive automatic updates against.

Will I be bombarded by spam from other suppliers once I've registered?

Supplier registration details will not be passed to any third parties. Registered suppliers will only receive non opportunity related emails or other communications where they relate to aspects of the portal’s availability or enhancements to the service offered.

Is there a cost involved?

There is absolutely no charge for supplier registration or for receiving email notifications of opportunities.

Will registration make it more likely that I'll win some of the council's business?

By registering with Supplying the South West you will be made aware of upcoming opportunities earlier than you would if you remain un-registered. Local authority buyers will also be able to see which suppliers wish to do business with them and, where their contract standing orders allow, may choose to select registered suppliers from the Portal when seeking quotations from suppliers. However, registration does not guarantee that you will win any business, it allows suppliers to register interest in contract opportunities.

Is it easy to amend my details once I've registered?

Is it easy to amend my details once I've registered? It is very easy for suppliers to amend their details once registered, though the “Supplier Profile” link that appears when a supplier visits the portal and is logged in.

I'm already on the council's approved supplier list; will I still need to register?

We will not be uploading supplier details onto the Portal so all suppliers will need to register. Councils with approved lists will not be scrapping the lists but will be encouraging suppliers on the list to register. If you are on a councils list, or a supplier to the council they should contact you to inform you to register when they start to use the portal.

What are the benefits of registering on the Portal?

There are many obvious benefits. Registration means that opportunities can be sent straight to a supplier’s email inbox meaning suppliers no longer need to trawl council websites and third party websites. Also it is free to use and the South West portal will eventually have the contracts and opportunities of over 30 councils in one place.

Will Councils be conducting tenders online?

Online tendering (also known as e-tendering) is now a feature of the portal. It is being gradually rolled out within all of the participating authorities. While this is happening some councils may still use the portal solely for the publishing of opportunities and collection of interest. Others will use it for the full etendering suite and the sending and receiving of documentation, the council will make it clear if they are using it for this purpose.

If I don't register can I still do business with Councils in the South West?

Absolutely, but councils are under pressure from Central Government to run more procurements online and therefore if you are not online the odds on you having visibility of all potential opportunities will decrease over time. Going forward more and more councils will be conducting their business online, both the advertising of opportunity notices and the use of etendering. Almost all councils in the South West will eventually use the portal for advertising and running tenders.

Is this connected to any other Portals e.g.

There is no affiliation with any other procurement portal; however the software is supplied by a company called Due North who provide a number of similar portals in other parts of the public sector.

How can I do business with more than one council?

This is one of the key benefits of supplier registration - the ability to deal with into many local authorities in the South West from a single point. As part of the supplier registration process suppliers will be asked to select the councils they wish to be notified by with details of upcoming opportunities. At any time you will only be able to see and select councils that are actively using the Portal. The initial council selection can be modified at any point by the supplier self service functionality offered by the Portal.

The Supplying The South West Portal has now merged with the Devon Procurement Portal so it will also allow suppliers to do business with all the DPP councils as well.

How will council's know that I'm interested in their business?

Once a supplier has indicated that they are interested in particular councils those councils can run reports to see which suppliers have expressed an interest in a particular opportunity. Also a council can look at all suppliers registered on the portal and which councils they have said they are interested in doing business with.

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